Ultrastructural Evidence for the Presence of Bacteria, Viral‐like Particles, and Mycoplasma‐like Organisms Associated with Giardia spp.

DENNIS E. FEELY, DAVID G. CHASE, E. LEE HARDIN, STANLEY L. ERLANDSEN

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Abstract

ABSTRACT. Giardia trophozoites and cysts, isolated from mammalian and avian hosts, were examined by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and by fluorescent light microscopy for the presence of microbial symbionts. Mycoplasma‐like organisms were observed on the surfaces of trophozoites isolated from the prairie vole, laboratory rat, and beaver. Intracellular bacteria were observed by TEM in the trophozoites and cysts of G. microti and by fluorescence microscopy in trophozoites and cysts of Giardia spp. isolated from beaver, muskrat, great‐blue heron, and the green heron. Trophozoites of G. muris from rat small intestine contained viral‐like particles measuring 60 nm in diameter. These observations suggest that biological associations between Giardia spp. and diverse microbes may be more common than formerly appreciated. It also raises the possibility of transmission of these apparent symbionts, via the Giardia cyst, to other mammalian hosts including man.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of protozoology
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1988

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology

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